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by Greg Downing on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:14 pm
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With all the social media outlets especially Facebook the internet is now flooded with images, good and great and the amount of images, and comments, posted have dwindled in recent years on NSN. So I ask you as a community what keeps you coming back and what motivates you to contribute by offering comments on images?

NSN will be 13 this year and we are making a concerted effort to reach out to more people and ask more questions such as these in order to continue to support and nurture the community we have created. There are many regular contributors and many new contributors but probably 100X the lurkers. We want to encourage everyone to be part of the community and to learn from each other in the coming years. We are certainly not going anywhere and still feel that we are the best resource out there for our niche called nature photography. But we strive to do better with your help. So look for more questions like these as we carve out our niche even deeper over the next decade of NSN and please do your part to help keep this community thriving.

Best to all of you in the new year and beyond!

Greg Downing
Greg Downing
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[url=http://www.gdphotography.com/]Visit my website for images, workshops and newsletters![/url]

by Mike in O on Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:32 pm
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There are a number of well known photographers who seem to garner the most comments, I try to contribute comments on the lesser known but just as skilled photographers.

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:10 pm
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I love to look at what others are posting! I like to comment on all types of images, good or needing some work to make them better. On some images that I feel are unique and special, I notice others may not even comment. A couple of examples are these:

http://www.naturescapes.net/forums/view ... 3&t=260376

http://www.naturescapes.net/forums/view ... 3&t=260727

It makes me wonder why! I know that some others here have mentioned they like to comment on others photos whose creators have also commented on their images. If I post a comment, I really don't care if the poster has ever commented on my images or has commented negatively. I like to try to be unbiased. I find that if I make a suggestion that I know would improve an image, others will still praise the image highly. Makes me wonder why they can't see what is obvious, especially when an image could benefit from some contrast. Some people just seem to post an image to get a pat on the back, no matter what. When I post an image and it is critiqued, I know that others are seeing what I am overlooking with my tired eyes! It is good to take in suggestions and weigh them to see if they are valid and not just feel like the photographer is being personally attacked. One of the things any artist finds hard to accept is criticism because they are too close to their work. As Mike said, the images that garner the most comments are usually from the well known photographers, many of whom are PS experts and have done much to correct their work. Other lesser known photographers may not receive many comments at all. Lately the comments have noticeably dwindled. I also wonder why.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso

by Robert on Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:58 pm
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Greg Downing wrote:" what motivates you to contribute by offering comments on images?"


 I comment on photos because I enjoy good photography and nature photography in particular, and viewing or sometimes commenting is a way of staying mentally active with my own creative process. I do not follow any social or other pressure to always comment, but will comment when I am moved by a photo. If someone truly wants a critique opinion from me, I'll gladly give it if asked. But otherwise I comment on what I like or am interested in.
I comment primarily on those photos that strike me as artistically different but well made, tell a story about the subject in a way that I don't often see, and wildlife behavior that evokes a visceral or emotional response from me as I view it. I often withhold comment on bird photos because that's not my expertise and there are many who can better comment on them.

I have been a part of clubs and online forums for 20 or so years, so I suppose that has something to do with my current  limited comments and participation. I certainly was more active years ago, but still enjoy some participation today.

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by SantaFeJoe on Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:50 pm
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Another thing I've noticed lately is that the moderators of the bird gallery are seldom commenting on the images posted there.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso

by Trev on Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:24 pm
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Personally I don't post my own images on NSN, maybe one or two since I've joined. I tend to do that on my own sites, I do occasionally comment on others images but only the ones that really stand out to me. I do give critiques to people who ask for it on one of my own sites, but that's a closed site members only and is part of my business.
I tend to only look at and enjoy the Editors Pick images (too busy to trawl everything else) and find they are generally to a very high standard, although they are not always to my taste, but then I wouldn't expect them to be either. The quality is good so I only comment on the ones I find exceptional. I think if people really want a proper critique then pay for tuition. I post images for peoples enjoyment and to promote my work and business, some people will like them some wont, that's life.

Where I find NSN  comes into its own is the knowledge shared by the collective group especially EJ and Royce and I have to say the technical feedback I've had over the years from these guys has been fantastic, thanks. NSN is always my first port of call if I need a bit of advice and for me that's why I'm a member, working by myself its great to have someone to ask and get advice from, even if they are on the other side of the planet. Which reminds me my membership needs renewing very soon. :)

Trevor Penfold
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by Karl Egressy on Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:18 pm
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I comment on good pictures.
I also try to maintain to comment on at least ten images every times I post one of mine.
Some people would almost never comment on anybody else's image that I find disrespectful.
Critique done tactfully is a great feature of a forum like NSN.
Oh I almost forgot to mention; technical feed back is one of the greatest services of this site and it is extremely helpful and highly appreciated.

by whitehead on Sun Jan 17, 2016 11:20 pm
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In my own web sphere its probably because there are simply so many alternatives for posting images these days (flickr, own site, service, 500 pix, etc) and each us may have "bought" into that particular method. Personally I don't comment as theres just too many alternatives and not enough time these time. Saying that there are some awesome images in the galleries.

by stevenmajor on Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:00 am
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I post to acknowledge the good work of others...mostly :) .

by Jim Neely on Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:44 pm
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13 years ago we were a much smaller population on NSN and most of us knew each other, even if it was only from NSN.

I haven't posted images in a while, mostly because the frailties of age have slowed down my shooting. I do look at the images posted, just not daily, like in the early days. I'm impressed with the quality of the images I see, but most have been commented on with constructive ideas or praise and there's not much I can add.

Keep up the good work.

[b]Jim Neely - Dripping Springs TX[/b]
jim(at)jneely.net [url=http://www.jneely.net]Jim Neely Nature Photography[/url]

by Tom Reichner on Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:46 pm
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Often, what makes me comment is not the image itself, but rather I comment in response to the other comments that have been made about the image.
I think this may be why I have almost completely stopped commenting anymore here on NSN.  The new "gallery style" presentation puts more emphasis on the images themselves, and less emphasis on the commentary about the image.

The old NSN presented the photo-sharing threads in a "discussion forum" style.  In that format, the comments were at the forefront - how many replies, who made the last comment, etc - these things were right there in your face; they were what you saw on the index page.  When I looked at the index page, I saw mostly text, with little tiny thumbnails of the images.  I liked that, and it made me want to click on many posts and banter back and forth with others who made comments.

And that is why I used to comment a lot - because I was basically commenting on the comments, not on the images themselves.  It is also the reason I do not comment much anymore - because now when I look at the index page I just see a bunch of big thumbnails and I don't see the text info unless I hover over a thumbnail.

It would also help if a thread (post) were bumped back up to the top every time it was replied to.  I prefer this because I want to be involved in conversations about the images, and I like it when the latest comments are right there on page one so that I can issue a timely response to the last thing that somebody said.

I comment because I want my voice to be heard, and I want others to respond to my comment.  If I don't think that a comment is going to get a lot of response then I just don't bother writing it.  

Differences of opinion, heated discussions, a little bit of drama - these are the things that people are generally drawn to, and the things that result in a lot of activity on internet forums.  It seems to me that the changes to this forum that were done a couple years ago were done to put less emphasis on these things and more emphasis on the images.  

I know that all of my suggestions are not what the editors here want, but that is what draws me in, and it is what would get me to comment and participate a lot more.   I do not think I am alone; other photography-related internet forums have capitalized on human nature and generate an unbelievable amount of posts, comments, overall traffic and activity.  If I post a comment or start a thread on any of several other internet forums, I will get 10, 20, maybe even 100 replies.  Here on NSN, that just isn't ever going to happen (unless we make radical changes to the overall tone of the forum).

I am not saying these things to complain, I am just explaining them so that those in charge here understand what makes me, and many others, "tick", so far as internet activity is concerned.
Wildlife photographed in the wild


by dissent on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:06 pm
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I like to comment on what I think are some of the really "Wow!" images. Not all though; there are so many really fine images that get posted here. If an image really makes me come back to it for a longer exploration, then yeah, I'll be more likely to make a comment. I'm not nearly as skilled as many of the posters here - but I do know what I like.

by OntPhoto on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:31 pm
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I come to Naturescapes mostly for the discussion forums where I spend 95% of the time on the site.  Maybe I am just an info-holic :)  I agree that it is the best site out there for the photography audience it serves.  The forums are great.  Learn and give back as well.  If you don't see much comments from me in the galleries it is simply because I have not visited the galleries.   When I do visit, I see many lovely images.

The traffic stats here will show how popular this site is.  
Similar Web traffic stats
Type in a few other sites for comparison.

Last edited by OntPhoto on Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

by calvin1calvin on Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:24 pm
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I have not commented on an image in quite sometime.  When I do it is usually an image that has that "wow" factor.  I enjoy looking at the great work that is posted on this website.  My reason is time.  I have a limited amount of time to browse the website and so I use that to get inspiration from the images posted.  I normally comment more in some of the other forums.  Now that I have just retired I hope to be able to view and comment more on images. The NSN community has a lot of very talented and knowledgeable folks who willingly share with all.  

by Kim on Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:52 pm
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I don't comment really now at all because the vast majority of comments are more like 'good shot' with a few other pat on the back platitudes. You never really see critiques as such, they seem not to be the done thing with the exception of sharpening that is judged to be too much or too little. Maybe every one here is considered too advanced for critiques, I don't know.

I just started to try and do bird photography at the age of 72, I am now 73 and I did post one image here of my efforts hoping to get some critiques to help me on my way, I got one comment that it was cropped wrong, I went else where for feed back and help to develop my interest in bird photography but my recent accident has slowed me down again unfortunately.

As others have noted the best part of the site is the discussion forums that help with lots of relevant information and clarity on some of the wild speculation that goes on on other sites.

by Martin 095 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:46 am
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I don't post much anymore, mainly because of some big changes in my life – photography will always be a passion for me but sometimes it has to take a back seat.  That being said, when I was posting more regularly (I never really posted many images, but did make comments more frequently), I did so mainly if the image moved me.  Still I always tried to make my comments – however neophytic – helpful, stating that I liked the use of diagonals, rule of thirds, the breaking of rule of thirds, etc.  Sometimes I suggested a different crop or maybe conversion to B&W.  I found when I did this regularly (critiqued an image), it improved my own photography – I guess some of those comments sunk into my brain.  I don't think there is enough of that anymore – there is a lot of wow, that's a great shot, or so cute, but nothing that really helps improve photographic skills for either the shooter or the viewer.  I get it – it takes time to analyze an image, and not everyone appreciates a critique, but in the end, we all learn the same way, by making mistakes.  Critiques can be an incredible learning tool but it seems more often than not, rather than offering a critique, an image that can be improved just gets ignored.  I also miss having the technical details – sometimes I find the choice of lens, shutter speed, or other technique eye-opening, another chance for me to learn.  And lastly to be honest, when I see a whole bunch of wows, even if I had time to critique, I don't feel comfortable doing so because I don't want to be that person.
Best wishes,

"[i]If there is a sin against life, it consists, perhaps not so much in despairing of life, as hoping for another life and eluding the implacable grandeur of this life[/i]." - Albert Camus

by Buckmaster on Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:38 am
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I don't comment much because I am an amateur photographer and don't have the Professional Photographer's knowledge to critique photos..
I will comment on a photo that I really love or I know the difficulties in getting that subject in a photo. My comments on a photo are about the
eye candy appearance to me and not the rules of photography.. I do like to study the photos and see what the exif  being used to maybe help me
the next time I have that same scenario before me. I love the information forums available as I learn something everyday about photography..

I don't post many photos because I am a free member and the size limit to post, doesn't present my photos(I feel) to their best presentations..so I tend to be a
lurker instead of a presenter.. What I see on my prints or on my monitor are not reflected on my photo posts due to that size limit..

I do frequent this site frequently  and must say everyone from amateurs to professionals are polite, patient, and filled with considerable  knowledge.


by Eia on Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:30 pm
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Buckmaster wrote:I don't comment much because I am an amateur photographer and don't have the Professional Photographer's knowledge to critique photos..
I will comment on a photo that I really love or I know the difficulties in getting that subject in a photo. My comments on a photo are about the
eye candy appearance to me and not the rules of photography.. I do like to study the photos and see what the exif  being used to maybe help me
the next time I have that same scenario before me. I love the information forums available as I learn something everyday about photography..

I don't post many photos because I am a free member and the size limit to post, doesn't present my photos(I feel) to their best presentations..so I tend to be a
lurker instead of a presenter.. What I see on my prints or on my monitor are not reflected on my photo posts due to that size limit..

I do frequent this site frequently  and must say everyone from amateurs to professionals are polite, patient, and filled with considerable  knowledge.

This is what I would say as well. I don't feel qualified to critique most of the beautiful photos so I can only say how I feel about the photograph. I will if it is something I am confident about.  I like to comment on photos that move me or interest me as well as the perfect photograph. Their are so many aspects to photography so sometimes the art side draws me in. I would like to read all the comments/critiques  (not just mine) but going through all of them repeatedly takes up lots of time. I think if they were bumped after a new comment I would visually and quickly see and read it. However I understand the concern about it being a popularity contest.

The knowledge here on digital and photo equipment is the best! Even during long absences I confess I lurk. (health and busy-ness get in the way at times)

It is great to be asked for feed back! :D


by pleverington on Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:53 pm
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Anna Marie makes a good point about not needing to spend time reading a bunch of accolades that are basically the same as other accolades in hundreds of other images. Accolades are fine for the poster, but don't do much for others in holding interest after a while as there is little to learn from them.

Tim Reichner made great points, especially one unique one where he points out a little "pepper" to spice things up in the conservation would perk up people's interest. I started a thread a while back about how too many pretty pictures begin to become innocuous or even boring....this is certainly a parallel to Tim's point...encourage some realism, or ugly, if you will type shots... and conversation.... I used to like the elements of human kind forum in the old days by the way....

Who ever said it.... EJ's contribution here is huge...maybe at least  50% of my interest. He has helped just about everyone with honest and sincere advice on stuff they have no or little background on. Same for Royce and a few others. But without EJ I wonder where this site would be. We probably are fine with what technical we have with these guys, but there are many other technical fields that might be explored.

Kims statements should be listened to. She posts a picture... gets one comment to crop ...whats that? Sometimes people not wanting to hurt feelings, hurt in other ways those people who posted an image as far as developing.

All that aside could we all be just witnessing the continuing  evolution of the digital image and it's fallout? I mean there are SO many nature images now. Back in the day with film if you got a bird on the stick, sharp, soft background, head turn you would see 50 comments. Now maybe a couple for the same image. We are slowly being overwhelmed with the sheer numbers of images and the quality especially with the ability to manipulate. They have lost much of their impact I'm afraid. Another thing is have folks seen some of the nature photographers stuff out there that is so creative and unique and who do not participate here at all?? There is some mind blowing stuff coming down the pike these days...

Like camera equipment itself this site needs to evolve as fast as that digital fair too. But clearly the problem is sparking peoples interest....They'll do the rest.

You guys that run workshops and benefit from the site as part of your business plan are not going to want too many other photo experts here that might compete for your customer base(I'm assuming), but such experts could write up some great commentary. Seems to me that would perk up peoples interest and therefore involvement more.  Could be photographers, but how about print makers, environmentalists, astronomers(Star photography)...Any one who has  established name recognition and people would know what they would read would be informal and interesting.

I miss the image of the week and image of the year. These things got me involved and thinking more about others images and more spirited about posting my own. The editors pick does not have the same level of substantiation for me. It's just not as exciting.

But going back to the now defunct elements of human kind forum...people in nature images skyrockets the potential of the possibilities...therefore increase stimulation and interest. Variety is the stuff of life....

I love most to comment on great images that have the essentials, but fall short of accomplishing the final knockout because of some easily fixed fault or oversight or whatever. Like a gem in the rough so to speak. "If only they did this" or maybe "that". Great images don't need much critique so even though they inspire the truth is we all learn more from our mistakes than our successes. At least I do... So what I'm thinking is that the more we work to improve on our mistakes the more we will absorb into the learning process. Many ways to think about that one and how to implement I suppose..

Anyways, try some new out of the box thinking or maybe bring on some innovative full time person for the site maybe.. Someone who has no distractions to making the site all what it can be...

Just ideas, realize and appreciate that I have little idea of all the problems and hindrances you guys go through with what you have right now...Hmmmm...actually knowing a little more of the background happenings of what it takes would help others to offer better suggestions I would think...

Summary: Greater interest appeal would make me post more commentary.....

Paul Leverington
"A great image is one that is created, not one that is made"

Last edited by pleverington on Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

by Steve Cirone on Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:23 pm
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I like NSN and feel a part of the club.  I try to check in here on a daily basis.

What makes me comment on images, or not comment is NSN has not been a place I post for many many years.  I used to post here way back before social media took over the net.

Facebook, Flickr, and the like have installed automatic image resizers, they have no limit on the number of images posted, and the images look great and fill the screen regardless of screen size.  Thus I post there.  My shooting pals and non shooting friends and family also look at my work there, and I look at their stuff.  We all make comments.  Non shooters do not frequent NSN due to its technical nature.

For me, NSN is mainly a technical place which I love.  EJ, Royce, and many others have answered so many questions.  It is also a place to keep up on the latest gear.  I sort of lament not posting images and commenting here any more, but I hit a much wider audience on social media.

That said, I still like joking around here and sharing my trials and screw ups.  I am likely mistaken, but I find things get rather serious here often, and I like to lighten it up every now and then.  The other thing I like here is good manners of the posters for the most part.  Some sites have vile language and personal attacks.  You Tube has gotten so bad I never bother to even read the comments!  NSN is very civil!      
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